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Enterprise tech happenings: February and March 2024

By Ken Wong - on 14 Apr 2024, 12:06pm

Enterprise tech happenings: February and March 2024

Note: This article was first published on 8 April 2024.

OceanBase and NTU sign an agreement to advance green computing practices.

The OceanBase and NTU team. Image source: OceanBase.

OceanBase and Nanyang Technological University have agreed to enhance database system performance, with a focus on improving the performance of parameterised queries and advancing green computing practices.

Parameterised queries, widely used in database systems, are a type of data-intensive computing task that typically requires substantial computing resources and energy. Consequently, database researchers are continuously exploring optimisation strategies to reduce CPU and memory consumption, shorten query times, enhance the overall performance of database systems, and foster more eco-friendly database operations. Although machine learning technologies have been applied to parameterised queries as part of this research direction, the current methods face limitations when dealing with complex queries.

To solve this, researchers from both institutions will investigate the application of innovative technologies to resolve performance bottlenecks associated with parameterised queries and leverage advanced machine learning technologies to more accurately pinpoint and forecast the effects of subtle parameter changes.

Cross-border payment solutions crucial to the growth of local SMBs 

Image source: Pixabay.

The Mastercard Borderless Payments Report 2023, released in October last year, highlighted the role of cross-border payment solutions with 36% of Singaporean SMBs encountering issues in cross-border transactions, resulting in late or failed payments.

With 79% of local SMBs planning to expand internationally more than half of them report using dedicated apps for seamless international payments. SMBs who have encountered late/failed payments reported that some of the most common consequences of this were an inability to pay suppliers on time, reduced access to needed supplies, and reputational damage. 

Sophos report reveals 88 percent of cybersecurity and IT professionals in Singapore are feeling burnt out

The Sophos study.

Sophos’s “The Future of Cybersecurity in Asia Pacific and Japan” report found that 88% of respondents in cybersecurity and IT roles in Singapore are impacted by cyber burnout and fatigue. 

Worryingly, the study revealed that burnout is felt across almost all aspects of cybersecurity operations, with 82% of Singapore respondents saying that feelings of burnout increased in the last 12 months with 32% saying that this burnout makes them “less diligent” in their cybersecurity roles. 

Ultimately, this burnout had a direct impact on business operations in Singapore in that it led to:

  • Direct contribution to breaches
  • Slower response times to cybersecurity incidents
  • Lost productivity
  • Resignations and employees moving on

IBM signs MOU with NTU for quantum-safe computing 

Image source: IBM.

IBM has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NCS, which outlines plans to co-develop and provide end-to-end quantum-safe and privacy-enhancing services for public agencies and enterprises in Singapore.

Both parties intend to work together to provide technology solutions, professional services, and strategic expertise for cybersecurity protection.

With quantum computing technology advancing, organisations will need to migrate a large number of cryptographic systems to new quantum-safe solutions. Data that is not protected using quantum-safe security will be at risk, leaving organisations vulnerable to future threats. Most organisations, however, still do not have a clear view of the cryptographic technologies used in their IT operations today.  This is why IBM says starting the assessment and transition today is so critical, even if a cryptographically relevant quantum computer may be several years away.

Salesforce’s Mulesoft Connectivity Benchmark Report finds that almost all IT leaders in Singapore think that AI will bolster success

Image source: Salesforce.

In a survey of 1,050 CIOs and IT decision-makers worldwide, including 400 in APAC markets comprising Singapore, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, Salesforce’s Mulesoft Connectivity Benchmark Report found that successful AI strategies relied heavily on strong data integration strategies. 95% of IT Leaders in Singapore saw AI boosting productivity, but data integration and silos hindered success. Adding to these concerns, 100% of IT teams in Singapore today report experiencing at least some degree of challenge with their digital transformation efforts, with 32% citing data silos and 87% grappling with systems that are overly dependent on one another. AI aside, 75% of organisations said they struggle to integrate data insights into user experiences.

HTX partners with Samsung to bolster Singapore’s national cybersecurity efforts

Dennis Jang, President of Samsung Electronics Singapore, and Chan Tsan, Chief Executive of HTX at the MOU signing session, formalising the partnership and solidifying their commitment to advance public and online safety. Image source: Samsung

Samsung Electronics Singapore and HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that paves the way for collaborative, co-development initiatives to allow frontline responders to execute their duties with greater efficiency and safety. It will also facilitate joint efforts to protect citizens from evolving cyber risks to create a safer, trusted digital space.

Cisco study finds very few Singapore businesses prepared to defend against today's rapidly evolving threat landscape

Despite 81% of local companies feeling moderately to very confident in their ability to defend against a cyberattack with their current infrastructure, Cisco‘s 2024 Cybersecurity Readiness Index, revealed only 1% of businesses in Singapore have the ‘Mature’ level of readiness needed to be resilient against modern cybersecurity risks. Based on a study of 8,000 private sector security and business leaders across 30 markets found that 99% of companies surveyed planned to increase their cybersecurity budgets in the next 12 months.

However, the traditional approach of adopting multiple cybersecurity point solutions has not delivered effective results, as 85% of respondents admitted that having multiple point solutions slowed down their team’s ability to detect, respond and recover from incidents. Cisco says that to overcome the challenges of today’s threat landscape, companies must accelerate meaningful investments in security, including the adoption of a security platform approach, strengthen their network resilience, establish meaningful use of generative AI, and ramp up recruitment to bridge the cybersecurity skills gap.

Microsoft partners with SkillsFuture Singapore and NTUC LearningHub in AI skills development

Chan Tsan, Chief Executive, Home Team Science & Technology Agency; Tham Loke Kheng, Chief Executive Officer, Mediacorp Pte Ltd; Chris Ong, Chief Executive Officer, Seatrium Limited; Jeremy Ong, Chief Executive Officer, NTUC LearningHub; Ngiam Siew Ying, Chief Executive Officer, Synapxe Pte Ltd; Ahmed Mazhari, President, Microsoft Asia; Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education; Lee Hui Li, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore; Desmond Tan, Deputy Secretary General, NTUC; Allen Lew, Chairman, Certis Group; Tan Kok Yam, Chief Executive, SkillsFuture Singapore. Image source: Microsoft.

Microsoft has signed a series of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with industry partners as it aims to play a key role in supporting Singapore's AI skilling and scaling initiatives by improving the AI skills and capabilities of employees across all levels, as part of the national SkillsFuture movement. The MOU with SkillsFuture Singapore will benefit 2,000 SMBs over three years as it delivers programs that will equip SMBs with the expertise needed to harness AI solutions, enabling them to transform, seize new opportunities and be future-ready. Microsoft and NTUC LearningHub will partner to train up to 100,000 NTUC members in such AI skills to enhance their AI literacy understanding and ensure that they are ready for the changing workforce. Microsoft is also partnering with Certis, HTX, Mediacorp, Seatrium, and Synapxe to develop programs to facilitate the co-creation and co-innovation of AI use cases and foster an AI-first culture and ecosystem.


Sulzer expands its Singapore presence with a new lab to develop new ways to recycle plastics, EV batteries and lubricant oils

Image source: Sulzer.

Swiss fluid and chemical engineering giant Sulzer has opened its latest Innovation Technology Hub (InTecH) in Singapore. This will be the first R&D facility in Asia and the second outside of Switzerland for the 190-year-old Swiss company. Sulzer invested over S$10 million into the facility and aims to grow its local team of 150 by 20 to 30 staff over the next 3 years. The facility comes with a suite of fluid separation facilities, analytical equipment, and features Sulzer’s proprietary technologies for thermal separation of chemical components, including liquid-liquid extraction and falling-film crystallisation, integrated with advanced chemical analysis techniques to identify and measure compounds in products after processing.

Enterprise tech happenings: Events

  • Black Hat Asia 2024 April 16-19: This cybersecurity event series will provide you with the most technical and relevant information security research.
  • CDAO Singapore 2024 April 16-17: Come and find out the latest insights around the industry’s most critical challenges and real-world opportunities around data, analytics and AI. 
  • Datacloud APAC 2024 May 6-7: The inaugural Datacloud APAC to discover the issues affecting the region’s digital infrastructure community. Hear from data centre operators, cloud platforms, investment firms, real estate brokers, technology vendors, connectivity providers, construction companies, and many more.
  • Salesforce World Tour Essentials Asia 2024 8 May: Explore and discover Salesforce’s latest products and learn how AI transforms industries.
  • Asia Tech x Singapore May 29-31:  Jointly organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Informa Tech, with support from the Singapore Tourism Board, the event features three tracks - ATxSummit, ATxEnterprise, and CommunicAsia.
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